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Monthly tips to improve the business and practice of members of The Society for the Advancement of Consulting, LLC - Issue #33: June, 2006

Monthly tips to improve the business and practice of members of the Society for Advancement of Consulting, LLC
  • Tell your normal contacts and clients that you're going on vacation, but tell them also that you'll be in touch if there's anything urgent. Check your email once a day and bring an international cell phone. Thirty or forty minutes a day won't cut into your vacation, but may enable you to take the next one comfortably.
     
  • If you want to be good, put something new on your web site each month. If you want to be outstanding, do it weekly. New additions can include articles, interviews, new links, new book recommendations, audio or video, self-tests, etc. Make sure they provide value.
     
  • There is a proliferation of newsletters because people actually read the ones that help them. But a newsletter that announces your upcoming schedule, your recent clients, and your new offerings isn't of interest to anyone but your immediate family. Insert low-key announcements amidst solid articles and advice.
     
  • When you don't get a response from a proposal with a client whom you were confident would "buy," it's almost always due to one of three reasons:
    1. He or she was not the buyer
    2. You did not achieve conceptual agreement on objectives, measures of success, and value to the organization;
    3. You provided a "take it or leave it" proposal without options from which to choose.
       
  • There are new programs offered by American Express, Diners Club and others which allow you to apply affinity points toward any airline.
     
  • Our business is about conveying expertise, both in marketing and in delivery. What are you doing, monthly, to build your expertise? Too many consultants are doing the exact same things they were doing five (or more) years ago.
     
  • The point of a commercially-published books is to open prospect doors which weren't open to you previously, not to sell a million books. Don't spend money promoting the book to buyers. Spend money sending the book for free to key buyers and recommenders. Have realistic goals.
     
  • If you are not sending new ideas to your current clients, you're ignoring your best prospects. These are the people who are most apt to listen to you, trust you, and hire you.
     
  • If you believe for a moment that this is a relationship business, then you realize that "brokers," "middlemen," and online clearing houses are ridiculous. These alternatives allow non-buyers to "fish" and find low fees and commodities. On top of that, you have to pay for the privilege.
     
  • If you're invited to address a team of key people as they evaluate potential consultants, do NOT go in with visual aids and a "pitch." And don't focus on your methodology. Engage them in conversation, ask a lot of questions, get them talking, and "push back" when you hear things that may deserve a different approach. You'll have a much better chance of standing out in a crowd….
 
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